Queen '˜too ill' to attend New Year's Day service

The Queen was too ill to attend a New Year's Day church service at Sandringham because of a lingering cold.

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 27, 2016 shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is photographed on a visit to the town of Poundbury, southwest England. Picture: AFP PHOTO / POOL / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Other members of the Royal Family, including Prince Edward and his family, the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence went to the ceremony at St Mary Magdalene church in Norfolk.

The Duke of Edinburgh, recovered from his own cold, was also well enough to brave a chilly and damp day to attend the ceremony, led by the Bishop of Norwich.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He was driven to the service in a Range Rover with the Countess of Wessex and wore gloves and a grey coat as other members of the royal family walked to the church from Sandringham House in drizzly conditions.

The Duke of Edinburgh leaves St Mary Magdalene Church on the royal estate in Sandringham. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The service lasted just under an hour.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also absent after they, Prince George and Princess Charlotte spent Christmas with Kate’s family at Bucklebury in Berkshire.

The Queen came down with a cold a few days before Christmas, forcing her to delay her trip to the Norfolk estate and to miss a Christmas Day ceremony, though she is understood now to be up and about.

A Palace spokeswoman said earlier: “Her Majesty The Queen will not attend Sunday worship at Sandringham today.

The Duke of Edinburgh leaves St Mary Magdalene Church on the royal estate in Sandringham. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

“The Queen does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold.”